Thomas Schelling

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Thomas C. Schelling, Professor of Economics, Emeritus, of Harvard University, is an eminent economic theorist whose work has focused on strategy and conflict. He received the "Nobel Prize in Economics" for 2005 together with Robert Aumann.

He has also been involved as an energy expert in the global warming debate, stressing that third world countries would be their main victim, and emphasizing the vast uncertainties about the costs and benefits of various preventive policies. He concluded that a program subsidizing energy-efficient technologies in developing countries, and more generally economic development, would help them best.

In May 2004, he was one of the experts at the Copenhagen Consensus. His viewpoint on the issues that were discussed was clear before the conference commenced:

Is 2 percent of GNP forever, to postpone the doubling of carbon in the atmosphere, a big number or a small one? That depends on what the comparison is. A better question--assuming we were prepared to spend 2 percent of GNP to reduce the damage from climate change--is whether we might find better uses for the money. [1]

He has also criticized the Kyoto Protocol as an inefficient bargaining structure, setting as an example the organization of NATO and WTO, where a single countries set the rules and procedures, with a permanent organization to facilitate bargaining.

"In 1991, he was President of the American Economic Association, of which he is now a Distinguished Fellow. He was the recipient of the Frank E. Seidman Distinguished Award in Political Economy and the National Academy of Sciences award for Behavioral Research Relevant to the Prevention of Nuclear War. In 1990, he left the John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he was the Lucius N. Littauer Professor of Political Economy. He has also served in the Economic Cooperation Administration in Europe, and has held positions in the White House and Executive Office of the President, Yale University, the RAND Corporation, and the Department of Economics and Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. Most recently, he has published on military strategy and arms control, energy and environmental policy, climate change, nuclear proliferation, and terrorism." [2]

According to Thierry Meyssan "Thomas C. Schelling was the theoretician of the military escalation during the Viêt-Nam war and he currently justifies the US decision not to sign the Kyoto Protocol and to ignore the UN Millennium Objectives." Meyssan also notes that "In 1948 he worked in Paris with the US ambassador Averel Harriman in the implementation of the Marshall Plan" and "In 1958, he was recruited by the Rand Corporation". Later, Meyssan notes: "Thomas C. Schelling came back to teach in Harvard although he continued to work as an advisor for the CIA" and "In 1990, after he retired as a university professor, Thomas C. Schelling joined the Albert Einstein Institution". [3]


Resources and articles


  1. Thomas C. Schelling, "Greenhouse Effect", Library of Economics and Liberty, accessed March 2004.
  2. Sustainable Consumption Institute Thomas Schelling, organizational web page, accessed June 25, 2012.
  3. Thierry Meyssan, "Thomas Schelling and Robert Aumann, the Nobel Prize winners who see war as a game",, (undated, published after 2005).
  4. Associates, Center for International Security Studies, accessed December 28, 2007.
  5. People, Belfer Center, accessed November 18, 2008.
  6. Sustainable Consumption Institute International Advisory Board, organizational web page, accessed June 25, 2012.

External Resources